Saturday, August 28, 2010


Dreams fascinate me. It seems if we pay attention, they can help us understand some things going on in our lives. Things below the surface that we may be ignoring or just not accepting. When I wake up in the morning, if I lay very still and focus, I can usually remember my dreams.

Last night my dream was all about snow and traveling long distances in treacherous weather. It wasn't scary or harrowing. There was just a lot of snow. There were several instances in which I was very protective of either a child or a young woman. Once I was trying to clean up a spill on a bed in this cabin in the woods. There were a lot of helping situations. Every time I would go outside, I'd have trouble finding the car because there was so much snow. And in all this, I had a great idea for a sweatshirt that would say "I've been to Helinski and back!" I thought that was so funny (in my dream) and so clever.

When I looked up "snow" in my dream dictionary, the main thing it symbolized was difficult times, etc. My own analysis is my difficult times at work right now and the fact that I AM feeling protective toward the staff that I've been responsible for over the past 15 years. It's a warm combination of mothering, mentoring, caring. I've had difficulty giving up that position and turning it over to someone else. All this dream did for me was help me recognize what's going on. And I suppose even if that's not really what it meant, it caused me to think about this. I feel better.

But, hey, what about that sweatshirt??

Monday, August 23, 2010


Say you’re traveling with another person, for business. Say you have more flight history, i.e., you have “priority access” for boarding. Say the person you’re traveling with is not “priority,” but (lowly) Group 4. Your assigned seats are across the aisle from each other.

How would you be inclined to handle the boarding process? Would you say, “Hey, I’ll hang with you; no need for me to board early.” Or would you say, “Hey, I’m up. See you there.”

You tell me yours. I'll tell you mine.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Giraffes Gone Wild!

This is the next step in the giraffe project. Expanding it, using layer of the drawings, color, etc.

I used watercolors and watered down Dr. Martin's iridescent copper ink to expand on the giraffe project.

Taking the first ones I drew, I transferred them onto tracing paper, flipping them so they'd all face the same direction. I kept overlapping them until they filled the page. I re-drew them on watercolor paper with a good ole Sharpie and used the iridescent copper for their spots, watercolor for the green and the blue. Ta-da.

It's finished. It's in the drawer. I'm waiting for some genius inspiration on how to use it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blind Contour Drawing

This is Exercise 2 in my drawing book. The assignment was to look at pictures of giraffes and draw without looking at your paper. It's called blind contour drawing. Blind contours are usually done very slowly and in a single continuous line. The assignment was to draw for about 10 minutes. It's harder than it sounds, slowing down like that. Supposed to improve eye-hand communication.

I looked for a picture of a giraffe bending down or drinking water, but couldn't find one. The pictures I found were either just of the head or were out in a field. But, I actually like these silly little creatures. The "taking it further" part (which I haven't done) is to try layering three or four of your drawings and see if you can pull them together some way, either using color or adding lines.

I've been drawing inanimate objects while I am sitting out on the back porch. A pot of flowers, a chair, things like that. Interesting results that may one day have another life.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Last Bite

You know when you're mixing a batter and the recipe says "alternate flour with liquid, ending with flour?" Do you ever do that with your meals? Alternating meat with vegetable, and then deciding what to end with? That's exactly what I just did. Salmon, broccoli, salmon, etc. And then I made the conscious decision to have two broccoli bites so I could end with salmon. A conscious decision.

I don't know why that gave me pause, but it did.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rocky Times Two

I recently bought a book "Drawing for Mixed Media Artists--52 exercises to make drawing fun." I'm lovin' this book and I'm only on Exercise One!

The first exercise was to draw cats from your imagination. Think about their ears, bodies, tails, etc. Keep your drawings simple. After you draw about 30 cats, pick one or two that you like and then expand on it.

I had the perfect model, of course, because I see Rocky in this position every day, many times a day. This was a good exercise because it was one I wouldn't have done on my own. (Who would think to do this?)Taking it to the next level for me was adding watercolors and Pearl Ex.

Yes, of course I'd like to redo it and do a better job on the blinds and window, etc., but overall I like it. Maybe because it was a stretching exercise for me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nora Plays the Piano

Get ready to smile! This is too much.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Collage Under Glass

I did this piece in July, but didn't post it then because it was a birthday present for my seester and I didn't want to ruin her surprise. I admit I totally copied the lettering style and quote from Lorraine Douglas. I love that style and it's not as easy as it looks. Even though it was her idea of spacing and style, it IS my lettering. She used a brush. I used a pointed pen. And that little quote still makes me smile.

This is on a very thin glass plate with a slight curve. All the collage is done in reverse, i.e. you layer from the top down because you're doing it on the underneath side of the glass. I did the lettering on Arches, used shaved pastels for a bit of color around it, then tore it to fit the plate. The plate is about 4x6.

The lettered piece was put down first, then I used different kinds of torn paper, some type torn from a book, etc. to fill out the edges. If there were any clear spots of glass showing, I covered it with something. I used good ole Modge Podge for my "glue" and sealed the bottom with flat black gesso.

Behrenberg Glass Company is a great source for "seconds" in glass bowls and plates. I ordered several platters and different size plates to have on hand to experiment with. These are delicate and make great gifts.

A little paper, a little fabric and a little time

I stumbled across this project from last year, still waiting for something to happen to it. This was part of an art play day I went to where we collaged paper, fabric, threads, on plastic bags using watered-down glue. You just peel it off the bag when it's dry and then figure out what to do with it. This little piece is still waiting for some inspiration to hit me.

It makes me want to do this exercise again. It's one of those things that you can do when you're not feeling particularly inspired but you might end up with something to inspire you. This is really pretty sturdy. I'm thinking it looks like it might end up as a funky book cover with some sewing. Oops. Just remembered my sewing machine is in Pittsburgh.

Back in the pile it goes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So, how hot is it really?

It's so hot that when we went to the movies on Sunday and left a 12-pack of soda pop in the car, the cans started exploding on the way home! First one popped and we all looked at each other, like "What was that?" Then I looked in the way back (station wagon) and saw brown liquid on the floor. The cans were still in the cardboard so I opened the carton and determined it was only one can. Oh well. One can. Big deal.

But then . . . BOOM! another one. And because I had been so smart to open the carton, this one went all over the windows, the ceiling, etc. We had reached the first drop-off house so we took the carton out of the car and put it in the yard. Pop, pop, boom, boom, and so on. Like Dr. Pepper fireworks. It was hilarious and at the same time a real mess. Thankfully, only one exploded on the ceiling and all over the back of the seat.

Lesson learned. Don't leave sodas in a closed car when it's 102 degrees.

Photo by Professor Andrew Davidhazy, of Rochester, New York.